Even though National Preparedness Month is coming to an end today, there are easy preparedness steps you can take ALL year to keep your family safe.
Despite the best planning, accidents, injuries, and medical emergencies are unavoidable. Fortunately, thousands of emergency physicians are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to take care of you and your family when you need it most.
However, there are some common sense preparedness tools you can use to lower your risk of injury. By planning ahead, you can be prepared, and keep you and your family safe when the unexpected occurs.
Here are some easy tips:
Have a plan
- Involve each family member in the planning process. Make kids a part of the discussion and planning, and encourage them to think of it as preparing for a challenge.
- Make sure each family member understands your family plan for each emergency situation, including where to meet in the event of a fire in the home or where the emergency shelter would be in case of a tornado or other severe weather event.
- Have a plan in case family members are not home at the time of an emergency. This should include where you will meet up, how you will get in contact with each other and planning a safe meeting place such as a friend or relative’s home.
Make an emergency kit
- Be sure to have enough food and water for you and every member of your family to last at least three days. In a large-scale disaster it may take days before relief supplies arrive.
- Stock your kit with important items, such as extra medications you may need and a spare set of eyeglasses if you require them. And don’t forget baby formula and diapers for small children.
- Pack a radio and extra batteries. This may be your only source of information after a large-scale disaster.
- If you have a cell phone, you will need a way to keep it charged. Solar chargers or portable battery packs may be a good option. Make sure they are charged and ready to go, but keep in mind, after a large-scale disaster cellular networks may not be functioning properly.
Be sure your home is safe
- Check your smoke detector batteries at least twice a year and even if you have smoke detectors wired into your home electrical system, they still may take batteries. Be sure to also test your smoke detectors periodically.
- Consider a carbon monoxide detector. Most homes contain appliances that may produce carbon monoxide if they are not functioning properly. A carbon monoxide detector can alert you to this invisible, odorless gas that can be deadly, sometimes without warning.
By working with your family to develop a plan, having an emergency kit that is properly stocked, and making sure your home is prepared with critical safety devices, you will help your family be more prepared to deal with a majority of common and severe emergency situations.
Take the next steps:
- Make time this weekend to write out an emergency plan with your family.
- Gather supplies for your emergency kit.
- Check that your home safety detectors (smoke, carbon monoxide, etc.) are functioning properly.
- Learn more about National Preparedness Month.
For more than 160 years, the University of Michigan Health System has been a national leader in advanced patient care, innovative research to improve human health and comprehensive education of physicians and medical scientists. The three U-M hospitals have been recognized numerous times for excellence in patient care, including a #1 ranking in Michigan and national rankings in many specialty areas by U.S. News & World Report.